Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Theera Wongsamut says that his Ministry has adopted both proactive and defensive approaches to protect Thai farm products from the impact of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015.
Speaking at a seminar on the AEC and the Thai agro-industry, at the Miracle Grand Convention Hotel, Mr. Theera said that on the defensive front, Thailand has imposed import conditions such as the application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) on every type of vegetables and plants, requirement of specific importing periods and checkpoints where imports will go through and tightened anti-smuggling measures.
The proactive approach consists of increasing efficiency in order to lower production costs, promoting product quality and positive image of farm products from Thailand and relocating production base to other ASEAN countries with cheaper labor in order to obtain materials that are in short supply in Thai industries such as animal feed.
According to Mr. Theera, a working group overseeing the FTAs, the AEC and other bilateral agreements has also been established since 2009 to evaluate the results of engagements under those bilateral and multi-lateral frameworks. The results will be used in developing a solution plan.